A very special place…

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Today it is one year since I have arrived at Thanda Private Game Reserve. It is a very special place to work and to live at.

Having three jobs (Field Guide, Photography Teacher and Resident Wildlife Photographer) at the same time is demanding, but I really enjoy doing all three!

This is a collage of some of my favorite images which I have taken since my arrival at Thanda.

Thanks Thanda!

What a feeling!

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Being chased by a male Lion is an incredible feeling.

Even if the chase is not meant for the vehicle but for other Lions nearby. When this huge predator runs to close the distance to the vehicle your instinct is telling you to get away while your knowledge tells you to stand your ground.

While the experienced Thanda guides take the proper decisions – keeping a cool head – some of our guests have one of the most exciting moments in their life.

What a feeling!

A Lion’s drink!

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This young male Lion is having a drink at one of Thanda’s waterholes. We were watching the Lions in the early morning going to drink after they had feasted the in the night on a Wildebeest kill.

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More about cats drinking (quoted from ANTRANIK.ORG):

Cats lap water so fast that the naked eye can’t follow it fast enough to notice. When a cat is going to drink water, it will stick its tongue out, curl the tip of its tongue backward, not forward. This curled tip will touch the liquid, barely penetrating the surface, then retract its tongue back into its mouth very, very fast. The water sticks to its tongue and a mini-stream subsquently shoots up into its mouth thanks to the power of adhesion and cohesion, respectively. The cat will then close its mouth at exactly the precise moment where the most water will be in its mouth, just before gravity starts to pull it down.

And this is a link to a short video showing a cat drinking (really slow :-)):

Almost back!

I will be leaving for South Africa tomorrow evening, so I thought I post a few of the animal images I took at the Zurich Zoo. I have also included a picture of a stag which I took in a small local deer park.

I enjoyed my vacation in Europe – even if it was very cold and wet – and now I am looking forward to going back to the African bush 🙂

20130603 - CS3_0360 - E 1Oriental Short-clawed Otter

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20130603 - CS3_0377 - E 1Indian Lion

20130603 - CS3_0500 - E 1Red Phanda

20130603 - CS3_0504 - E 1Egyptian Vulture

20130603 - CS3_0622 - EPanther Chameleon

20130603 - CS3_0638 - E 3Red Deer Stag

Auberge de l’Ill

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Picture: Dinner at the Auberge de L’Ill

Another short update from my vacation in Europe. The last two days I was with friends in France. For my 50th birthday present they had invited me to a weekend at the Hotel des Berges and a dinner at the Auberge de L’Ill. We stayed at the boutique five-star hotel and had a wonderful dinner at the “Three Michelin Star” restaurant. What a present!  Thanks a lot to Gabi, Ruth, Bernhard and Juergen. In my life I have eaten in many excellent restaurants around the world, but the Auberge de L’Ill is my all-time favorite!

Only the weather did not play along. Since I have arrived in Europe the weather was very cold and wet (the South African Winter is much warmer than the European Summer :-)). The river near the restaurant had already flooded the boat landing (with the bronze geese!) and threatened to invade the beautiful gardens. But there is hope, the weather forecast for the next few days looks much better.

20130601 - Collage 2Picture: Flood at the Ill and the entrance to the Hotel des Berges

On the way to dinner we stopped in the historical center of Colmar, France:

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So far I had a great time in Switzerland, Germany and France – with lots of lunches and dinners with family and friends. More to come …

PS: For those of you who are interested: Links to the websites of two of my favorite restaurants in Switzerland which I have visited during this trip: Restaurant Federal in Zofingen and the Old Swiss House in Lucerne.